Cost of a Puppy

Why is the price of a puppy from a reputable breeder so high?

For a newfoundland puppy, on average you can expect to pay $2,500 - $3,000 from a reputable breeder in Canada. Depending on the number of puppies, a responsible reputable breeder might be lucky and break even, but many times they will not. This is a serious hobby for them, and they do their best to produce sound, healthy puppies, even though it means spending their vacation time at home looking after a litter. Don't let the high initial cost turn you away! That $800 puppy on kijiji will not have health tested parents, parents that have their championships, and have sub-par health care. Most will not look like what a newfoundland SHOULD look like, and they have a higher chance of behavioral issues such as aggression. Many people are attracted to that lower price, but in reality, that dog will likely cost you much, much more in vet bills down the road.

Let's break down the costs for a reputable breeder:

Breeding Costs
–         Progesterone tests: $80 per test, (3-12 tests needed)
–         Brucellosis test: $120
–         Stud fees: $2500-$3500
–         Shipping costs for semen: $300-$800
–         Artificial insemination: $150-$1200 (dependent on fresh, fresh chilled or frozen semen used)
–         CKC litter registration: $30

             Total: $3,140-$6,610/breeding

 Pre-Natal Care
–         Ultrasound to confirm pregnancy: $60
–         Increased food consumption: $0-$80 (depending on # of pups)
–         Radiograph: $130

             Total: $190-$270/breeding

 Post-Natal Care of Puppies (each)
–         Plysical Exam + first distemper/parvo vaccine: $60-$80
–         Dewormer: $30 (starting at 2 weeks of age, given every 2 weeks until they leave)
–         Eye exam: $50
–         Microchip Implant: $40
–         Cardiac exam by a certified cardiologist: $65-$330 (depending if just by stethoscope or by echocardiogram doppler ultrasound)
–         Food: $100-$170
–        CKC Individual registration: $30

            Total: $370-$730/puppy

 Caring for the sire and/or dam (ignoring cost of toys, any potential extra vet visits, etc):
–         Food: $20/week = $1040/dog/year
–         Annual vet visit: $100-$250/year (depending on vaccines needed)
–       Annual heartworm/tick prevention: $200-$300/year

             Total: $1,340-$1,590 per dog/year

–         Entry fees: average of $30/show (5-10 shows needed to obtain a championship)
–         Show expenses: reserved grooming, food, travel, lodging - $50-$500/show weekend (depending if local or not)
–         Grooming supplies: $200/year
–         National Specialty: $1,000-$2,000/year

            Total: minimum $250-$800/dog + if attending $1,000+/year in show travel expenses and Annual Specialty

 Health Clearances (each; done on sire and dam)
–         Hips and elbows - $320-$500 for radiographs +/- sedation and OFA certification
–         Patella - $30-$60 for exam and OFA certification
–         Thyroid - $200-$250 for bloodwork and OFA certification
–         Cardiac - $70-$350 for auscultation or echo doppler and OFA certification
–         Eyes - $40-$80 for exam and CERF certification
–         Cystinuria - $100 for DNA test and OFA certification
–         Shoulders - $160 - for radiographs and OFA certification
–         DNA coat color test (dilution, brown, landseer) - $30 each if done with cystinuria test for same dog plus OFA certification
–         DNA repository for future research - $7-$27 depending of cheek swab or blood is sent

             Total: $930-$1,617/dog

$2,390 per dog (showing to CH, health testing)
$1,590 per dog/year in annual food/vet bills
$6,880 per breeding *
$730 per puppy born

$1,117 per dog (showing to CH, health testing)
$1,340 per dog/year in annual food/vet bills
$3,330 per breeding *
$375 per puppy born

* If only 1 or no puppies, stud fees often reduced, except when using frozen semen

Our puppies are monitored 24/7 for their first 4 weeks of life and all that time is taken off work. When one of us is sleeping the other is with them in their whelp box or playpen, keeping a close eye. At minimum wage which is currently $11.35/hour x 24 hours x 7 days x 4 weeks = $7,627.20. Most breeders will keep one puppy, but often times will keep more than 1 puppy for future potential breeding/showing.

This is excluding the costs/time spent of:
- cleaning up after the puppies
- socializing
- crate training
- desensitizing to noise
- leash training
- temperament testing
- researching pedigrees
- responding to emails and interviewing prospective owners (including long distance phone calls)
- emergencies such as a C-section (which adds another $2000).
- raising puppies to 12+ months, doing preliminary health testing and finding out they are not fit for breeding

This is assuming the breeding takes first try. It is easy to spend $2000+ on attempting a breeding and end up empty handed.